Can You Own a Dog When You Have Allergies?

You absolutely live and breathe dogs, but you’ve long been frustrated by the pet allergies that have kept you from bringing a furry canine companion into your home. You’ve recently heard, though, that you can modify your lifestyle to minimize your allergy symptoms, perhaps opening the door to dog ownership. After you get the go-ahead from your doctor, identify dog breeds that might be good candidates. Ask your Farmington Hills veterinarian for his professional advice as well.


Pet Allergy Source

You might think your pet allergies result from contact with copius amounts of dog fur. Actually, pet allergies stem from a protein contained in canine and feline saliva and urine. This protein adheres to your dog’s dried skin flakes, or dander, setting you up for a potentially harmful allergic reaction.


Allergy Reduction Strategies

Minimize your allergic reaction potential by selecting a smaller dog, which naturally emits less dander than a larger pooch. Give your dog a weekly bath to remove his constantly accumulating coat dander. Banish your home’s carpet if possible, switching to a laminate, hardwood, or tile floor. If you can’t remove the carpet, shampoo it regularly to reduce its dander content. Keep your dog out of your bedroom or your other favorite rooms to further reduce your allergen exposure. Use a HEPA air purifier, along with vent filters, to cut down on airborne allergens. Finally, if the weather cooperates, give your dog some welcome outside time, which will give your respiratory system a break, too.


Low-Shedding Dogs

You’ve probably heard about the low-shedding, or hypoallergenic, dogs promoted as good choices for allergy sufferers. Because these dogs don’t shed much, or at all, their dander stays on their fur rather than being released into the surrounding air or onto the floor. While this sounds encouraging, remember that all dogs can cause potential allergy problems to some degree.


Good Breeds for Allergy Sufferers

Several well-known purebred breeds have become popular with allergy sufferers. Consider a bichon frise, poodle, maltese, Portugese water dog, or schnauzer for starters. The American Kennel Club website provides breed profiles for these dogs and others.

Once you’ve taken the plunge into dog ownership, your Farmington Hills vet can help to keep your canine companion healthy and perhaps provide you with more allergy reduction strategies.

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